Latest News

Palestinian movie maker faces deportation at Los Angeles airport

By Mason White 2:27 PM February 21, 2013
Emad Burnat 

By: Shifra Unger
(Scroll down for video) An amateur Palestinian movie maker along with his wife and child was facing deportation at Los Angeles Airport, according to press reports in the United Kingdom.

The Palestinian movie maker, who was on his way to the Academy Awards, was held at Los Angeles International Airport and threatened with deportation before entering the United States.

Emad Burnat, whose “Five Broken Cameras” movie is competing for an Oscar in the Best Documentary category, said that U.S. immigration officials took him, his wife and his 8-year-old to a side when he arrived in Los Angeles from Turkey Tuesday night.

“Immigration officials asked for proof that I was nominated for an Academy Award. I was also told that if I could not prove the reason for my visit, my wife Soraya, my son Gibreel and I would be sent back to Turkey the same day,” Burnat said in a statement.

Oscar-winning documentarian, Michael Moore, who is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, in a series of posts on twitter revealed that he intervened to help resolve the situation.

“Although Burnat was invited to the Oscars, that was not good enough and he was threatened with being sent back to Palestine. Apparently, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents could not understand how a Palestinian can be an Oscar nominee. Emad texted me for help. I called Academy officials who called lawyers. I told Emad to give my officials the phone and say my name a couple of times,” Moore wrote on Tuesday night.

Burnat said that he and his family were detained for about an hour.

Mobile video not loading? Click here to view